As a taxi cab pulled in front of The Strathcona Hotel, there was an explosion of glass which stirred a slight panic from the queue of people waiting to get into Distrikt Nightclub for Bob Moses’ debut Victoria performance.
As security quickly swept up the glass and check to make sure everyone was okay, all eyes were focused skyward. An adult beverage had been hurled off of the third floor Rooftop Patio, narrowly missing several people before hitting the taxi’s front fender.
The street was packed full of rowdy students looking to unwind before heading to college or university later that week. It was abundantly clear that it was Frosh Week and us aging hipsters were out of place in a sea of nightclubs. Street brawls, cigarette smoke, and very drunk uni students made up the streetscape on a late Sunday night.
The scene instantly made me flash back to a few years ago when Washed Out played the same club. Those of us who had been looking forward to seeing the chillwave band for several months were flanked by kids out looking for a party, making coverage and enjoyment of the show nearly impossible.
As I was crammed against the stage in sea of bodies (there is no photo pit), it was clearly the barely-19-year-old next to me was going to vomit on the fake grass Ernest Greene had placed at the base of his keyboard. Luckily for us, that guy made it out before ralphing, but the vibe was very similar for Bob Moses.
It was clear early on who the fans of Bob Moses were as they lined up for the 10PM doors and hung out for the better part of two hours while DJs Iain Howie and Solomon Potashnick played subdued but dancey sets. They were in the minority that purchased their tickets beforehand while the rest bought their tickets before the show despite the sold out performance the previous night in Vancouver.
Vancouver ex-pats Jimmy Vallance and Tom Howie — or as we know them, Bob Moses — now call Brooklyn home. The duo were childhood friends but, over time, both moved to New York separately focus on their music careers. They would later reconnect in a parking lot by accident and begin working on what is the alternative electro band we know as Bob Moses.
I’m not sure how I first heard about Bob Moses, but I feel like it might have been in the credits of a television show I watched one night on my iPad. Either way, I was hooked and bought their stellar record, Days Gone By. Frankly, I was super excited to see them perform live, even if it meant being around a bunch of barely legal drunk teenagers.
The live version of Bob Moses expands on the duo with the addition of a live drummer, giving them a fuller sound in a nightclub.
Bob Moses played a majority of their recorded work flawlessly. It’s hard to not expect purity when you listen to electronic-inspired bands like this. It’s clear both Jimmy and Tom put a lot of energy into their live performances and making them perfect. With several embellishments and off-the-cuff nightclub dance beats peppered in throughout the night, you could see the band having fun on stage.
The band leaned heavily on their latest album, Days Gone By, but also looked to older EPs Hands to Hold, Far From The Tree, and First To Cry to round out their hour twenty set. Obvious standouts were the singles Before I Fall, Tearing Me Up, and their encore of Too Much Is Never Enough.
Much like Washed Out, I really look forward to Bob Moses’ return to Victoria. Let’s just hope it isn’t during Frosh Week again.